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Beware of A/C scams in a heat wave

The hot summer months can pose a threat to your health if you’re not careful. It can also be a threat to your wallet. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) says home and business owners should be extra careful when heat warnings take place. Rising temperatures are a perfect time for air conditioning scammers to land their next victim.

Scammers pose as A/C contractors pitching their services–both at your door and by phone–with offers like free maintenance plans or repairs to your current system. Most of these scammers advertise faulty air conditioners, unbeknownst to you until it’s too late. In Chicago, the BBB received over 200 complaints last year by air conditioning (and heating) companies, often due to scammers claiming to represent them.

Door-to-door scammers are often looking to get some quick cash or other payment from their victims. In extreme cases, they want to “inspect” your system just to get into your home and possibly steal other items, not to mention posing a physical threat to your safety.

Keep in mind, A/C contractors are legitimate–just do your research and ask friends and neighbors to find the one that’s right for you. Check for background information, licenses and prices. And be wary of pitches over the phone or at your door. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Read more about A/C scams to look out for in a heat wave as well as official tips from the BBB.